From a Staircase Dungeon to the Head of the C.A.R.E. Network
Here’s the story of how I grew from being an orphan to the head of the C.A.R.E. Network.
I want to share my story. When I was 3 years old, I was abandoned by my mother and father. I only partially attended the 3rd grade because I was kidnapped, locked in a room, and held hostage. By the time I was 8, I was an orphan. According to another family member, when my parents abandoned me, my mother sold me for $10,000 to the people who ultimately facilitated my kidnapping.
It was kind of like Harry Potter. I was locked in a room underneath a staircase and tied up with twine. I was a fighter, though. I would fight my way out and escape. It wasn’t long until the courts got involved, but nobody wanted me, so I became a ward of the state. I lived in 46 foster homes—some good, some bad. I met a lot of nice people and a lot of bad people too.
I’m here to tell you, though, that it was a blessing because it helped develop me into the man I am today.
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I attribute a lot of this saving grace to the Good Will-Hinckley farm/school for boys and girls, which was established in 1889. It was there that I learned the foundational building blocks that helped establish my character and work ethic. I also established a lot of great relationships there, including Dan and Lisa McGowan, my cottage parents. I love them dearly, and they’re amazing people who dedicated their lives to helping children.
I would love to say that everything was hunky-dory when I left there but it wasn’t. When I was 21, I was in a low place, and I started thinking about the times in my life when I was the happiest. The answer always came back to Good Will-Hinckley, but I couldn’t help but wonder: Was I really going to end up as a statistic? Nobody ever thinks kids like me will turn out to be a success.
That’s when I committed to help kids the way I was helped. I figured that would save me, so I started spending more time around Good Will-Hinckley again. By that time, Dan had been promoted to program director and Lisa worked in the development department. I saw the school from a different perspective, but one day, it lost all its state funding and all the kids were sent to different care facilities. After 120 years, the place was a ghost town.
This really affected me. I wanted to help other kids, and I even briefly thought about buying Good Will-Hinckley since they were selling it for pennies on the dollar. Instead, I set out to start my own farm/school for kids called the Wildfire Ranch. The problem was, I needed sustainable funding so that what happened to Good Will-Hinckley wouldn’t happen to me.
That’s why I established the C.A.R.E. Network. When you buy or sell a home with us, we give a portion of our commission to the charity of your choice. All profits from the C.A.R.E. Network go toward the Wildfire Ranch.
Would you consider working with C.A.R.E Network Realty so you can have an agent you trust and make a difference in the community when you move? Would you like to connect to C.A.R.E. Network so we can support your vision?
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